(W)all the Way Up

So far, after one day, China has been amazing. The day started with our first breakfast in China. Breakfast here is definitely different; fried rice, a lot of vegetables and steamed buns. However, it is delicious, and the bacon is better than any I had in America. Our first stop for the day was the Great Wall of China. We had about an hour ride where we were entertained by our tour guide “Uncle Joe”. He taught us the history of China while I stared out the window at the sprawling city and the cluster of high rises. After a while we finally arrived at the base of the wall. Uncle Joe offered us 20 yuan for a chairlift ride instead of the steps, but almost all of us decided to take the steps. What a horrible decision that was. According to my health app, I climbed 96 flights of steps up to get to the top. Once I got to the top, it was so worth it. It was unreal to be a place that is world renowned. The guard towers had arches and windows that overlooked miles and miles of surrounding scenery. The mountainous landscape was so pretty and never ending. We began our walk along the wall at tower ten and went to tower six. One of the lookout towers had roof access through a very tiny stairwell. The view from the top was even better than from the wall. I took close to one hundred pictures of the wall and the views.

When it was time to leave, we rode a slide down to the bottom of the mountain. We were supposed to go slow, but we did not follow the directions too well. Jack apparently didn’t know how to use the brake considering he rear ended me every time we slowed down. After we left the wall, we went to a local restaurant and had a Chinese family style lunch. Like every other meal so far, the food was delicious.

Our next stop was the Summer palace; the home of the Dragon Lady. Uncle Joe told us the story of the Dragon Lady. I found this story to be crazy because, in short, she killed many of her family members so she could keep control of China. The Summer Palace was her favorite place to live as she spent eight months a year there. When we got there, we were as attractive to the Chinese people as the palace. Many people took pictures and videos of us or joined our group and just stood there as if we didn’t notice them. Even with this, I really enjoyed the palace. A group of us hiked to the top of a hill where we had a panoramic view of Beijing. At the bottom of the hill was the marble boat where we met the rest of our group and Uncle Joe.

After we returned to the hotel, Nancy and Jane, our tour guides, took us to a local hotpot restaurant. Hotpot was awesome. The “hot” part of hotpot is definitely true; Matt may or may not have singed his hair after looking in the top of it. Overall, my first day in China was incredible and will be hard to top.

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